Book Binge Blog's Reviews > Secrets of a Proper Countess

Secrets of a Proper Countess by Lecia Cornwall
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Apr 23, 12

bookshelves: avon, for-review, historical, spring-giveaway, to-read

When Lady Isobel’s husband died his will stated that she had to keep her reputation spotless at all times or her son, the current Earl would be taken from her permanently by his brother and mother. It also gave all control of her money and properties to her in-laws. Isobel is miserable and wants nothing more to be as far from her in-laws as possible but for the sake of her son she stays and deals with the humiliation that is piled on her regularly.

One night at a masked ball she breaks through her invisible bonds and not only flirts with the Marquess of Blackwood, and a known rake, but ends up having sex with him. He is smitten by the masked lady and though he introduces himself she does not, only giving him a fake name. Even though they meet as Countess and Marquess later he doesn’t see beyond the dowdy clothes and hairstyle she is forced to wear to recognize her as his secret lover.

The Marquess isn’t who he says he is either. He acts the rake but really wants nothing more than to live a quiet life. He’s a spy for the crown and his brother-in-law is the slave driver that keeps him in the business when he wants to leave. When the Marquess finally figures out that Isobel is his secret lover he doesn’t know if she’s hiding more than her identity. He thinks she may be hiding the fact that she’s a smuggler and a traitor to king and country.

I think there were things about each of the main characters that I liked and disliked. I liked Isobel and her love for her son and her willingness to suffer her in-laws for him, but I found it strange that she would take a chance like having a secret liaison with a man in a garden, at a ball, where she could have been caught by anyone, quite strange. She knew what would happen yet did it anyway. I really could understand her wanting to break free, I could, but knowing the consequences made me look at things a little differently.

I also liked Phineas, the Marquess as well. He seemed like such a strong character but then he wouldn’t stand up to his brother-in-law until the end. I really would have liked for him to been a little more forthright in his dealings with Adam (who I really didn’t care for at all).

Isobel’s brother-in-law and mother-in-law were nasty people. I didn’t like them at all and that was a good thing. I like when an author makes people truly evil – because if I really hate them it means that they were written well. lol

I have to say that the first two chapters of the book really had my attention and I wanted nothing more than to get back to the book when forced to put it down. However as the book went on I was less enthralled with it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good book but it just lacked that umph that the first two chapters had given me. I do look forward to reading more from Ms. Cornwall when future books are released.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

This review was originally posted on Book Binge by Tracy.
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